Romantic February is here and here I am participating in the Lost and Found blogfest.
A special blogging event the result of a collaboration between Arlee Bird and Guilie Castillo-Oriard. Joining these two romantics are Elizabeth Seckman, Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey and Alex J Cavanaugh.
This challenge asks you to tell your fictional/non-fictional story about love — lost or found — in the first special Valentine’s blogfest for the month of February.
Don’t be left out! If you have something that fits, sign up by adding your link at one of the blogs mentioned above.
And here is my ‘romantic’ flash fiction. And what fun I had writing it, imagining the goings on at Carnevale in Venice every February…
Lost in Venice
The cold of the floating city melted away in the heated rooms as Anouk danced with a succession of gloriously-attired masked men who pressed her close to their bodies, their flattery blowing hot on her neck. With casual abandon they passed her onto the next caped stranger with a flourish and a kiss to her gloved hand. Inhibitions washed away by the excellent wine, she embraced the fantasy.
Leaving the warm apartment, she ran down slippery dimly-lit streets into an unknown Venice. The paths narrowed until she skated and slithered at the end of the conga line, terrified of being lost, alone in Venice.
Without warning, out of the fog came a man, a man who clasped her hand and drew it to his chest. The line wended away as she stilled, uncertain, alone in the stranger’s grip. He tugged her along in his wake, pausing to turn and watch her through slitted eyes.
She was lost in Venice, and in black eyes that glinted fire behind a lacquered mask of ebony.
He hesitated beneath a lamp that bathed them in golden light. ‘I’m Count de Rozario.’ He bowed, his first words to her as rich and smooth as a noble red wine.
‘All men are Counts at Carnevale.’
She curtsied, deliberately displaying her cleavage. ‘My count.’
‘My servant,’ he said, touching her bare shoulder with his fingers as if bestowing an honour.
He covered her flimsy cape with his thick black velvet cloak, then kissed her blonde curls which were in disarray from the snow and mist. Taking her hand, he drew her close to his side.
‘Come. We have a little time.’
They ran through passages and beneath arches until they came upon a magnificent golden doorway. He brushed snow off their cloaks and shoes before he led her up a flight of stairs to a luxurious apartment. With urgent strides he hurried her through a warm sitting room, log fire blazing, comfortable couches empty, an aura of expectation in the atmosphere. Mesmerised by the warmth of the flames, she took a step towards them.
He snatched her at the waist and dragged her into a huge bedroom dazzled by silver moonlight, its rich furnishings the colour of the Burgundy she’d drunk throughout the night. The ornate carved bed beckoned, its lush brocade edged with silken fringes inflamed her senses.
He ripped off her cape, then her dress rustled to the floor and pooled at her feet. He dealt swiftly with her undergarments, but left her mask intact. Too late to turn back now even if she wanted to. She was an offering to Carnevale and the Count.
Pushing her backwards onto the bed, he covered her nakedness with his. Two warm bodies driven by animal lust.
As they surrendered themselves to the madness of the night, the mouth that plundered hers tasted like wine, enhanced by sea and smoke.
Their lovemaking reached its crescendo like a finely-tuned orchestra making exhilarating music. Then he broke away with a cry. All she heard was her own whimpering cries as her body begged for more.
Footsteps. On the stairs. Slipping and sliding on the varnished wood. The occasional curse, ‘Merda. Merda.’
The count was on his feet, reaching out his hand. ‘My blonde beauty. My Contessa approaches. Presto! Presto!’
He snatched her clothes from the carpet and thrust them into her arms and pushed her naked onto the balcony. Shivering with cold and shock, she huddled, horrified.
‘Ah, Contessa, come.’ His seductive voice slid out of the bedroom and onto the balcony. ‘I’ve been waiting. How we did lose each other in the frenzy of the chase.’
‘Nevertheless, Count, I see you are ready for me.’
Self-satisfied whore. Was this a game they played on this one night of the year when there were no rules? Had the Contessa come from her own assignation in another man’s bed?
Anouk struggled down the dark outdoor stairs, slipping and sliding on the dusting of ice, gripping the over-elaborate balustrade. In the foyer, her frozen hands fumbled with intricate clasps and zips as she dressed with agonising slowness.
Wrenching the heavy carved door open, she stumbled down the steps, fog tendrils snatching at her ankles.
She stepped into the frozen wilderness, lost in Venice’s black cape.
I hope you enjoyed my romantic efforts.
And don’t forget…you can now sign up for the WEP Valentine’s blogfest!Entries posted from February 17 – 19th.